In 1776, people in the United States stood up and with one voice, declared that all men were created equal. However, that declaration did not extend to everyone. Only men with certain skin tones were created as equals. So we fought each other in a war that would tear families apart. The war was named the Civil War and yet it was anything but civil.
After the Civil War, the Klu Klux Klan came to town along with freedom for slaves. The Klan exemplified the South’s way of keeping slaves in the bondage of fear even though they had been freed. Families awoke in the middle of the night with a cross burning on their lawns. The symbol that they had been visited by men in white masks.
These men underneath the masks symbolized the reckless hatred that racism carries with it. The fear engendered by the masks murdered many men’s spirits.
In the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, King Theoden of Rohan asks Aragorn, “What can men do against such reckless hate?” I think this question is one that we must answer for ourselves.
I believe that the answer lies in reckless forgiveness. Only in reckless forgiveness can humanity find peace. Jesus illustrates this point on the cross. He looks his torturers in the eyes. He sees them for who they are in the moment. People with hate in their hearts but people nonetheless. He cries out to the Father to forgive them.
On another note, I recognize that I have not experienced this kind of hate first hand. I am white. People with my same tone of skin color were the ones who perpetrated these crimes. Many claimed to be Christians but were underneath those masks. If you have been a victim of this kind of hate, I want to apologize. I am so sorry that people who look like me have lead you down a path of hurt and pain. I cannot change what happened to you but I can extend you an apology and give you an opportunity to experience freedom from the burning in your heart caused by the pain.
The KKK exemplifies everything that hate can do. It brings fear. It brings pain. Are men who participate in the KKK beyond God’s forgiveness? Can we give them a second chance? Can we afford not to be like Jesus?
You have just finished reading, “Never Beyond: Burning in the Night,” written for ProcessOfBecoming.org. I believe we learn best when we take the time to express our thoughts with each other. Please take a few minutes to comment or to email me with what you are thinking.